Chickpea, potato and turmeric curry

15 Mar 2021
chickpea turmeric curry alan rosenthal photo credit @ritaplattsphoto

This recipe is from Alan Rosenthal's new book, Foolproof One-Pot.  Alan is a local chef, food writer, caterer and teacher who creates delicious and imaginative dishes with his weekly Crop Drop veg bag. Find out more about him and his recipes on his website or follow him on Instagram.

Photo by Rita Platts @ritaplattsphoto



I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Indonesia a few times over the last 10 years. Whilst there, I’ve tended to keep a mainly vegetarian diet full of wonderful warming, but not necessarily fiery, spices.

This naturally vegan recipe is my nod to a mild but fragrant Balinese curry. Silky chickpeas are enveloped in a rich and velvety coconut-based sauce that’s laced heavily with turmeric and ginger.

Raw ripe tomatoes added just before serving add acidity and match the silky textures throughout the dish. A true bowlful of warming sunshine.

Serves 4



2.5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 pinch of ground cloves
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, grated on the medium side of a box grater
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1.5 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 red bird’s eye chili, finely sliced, including the seeds
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
300g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, including liquid
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
2 ripe tomatoes, core removed and each cut into quarters
Caster sugar

To serve

4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander



In a small bowl, mix together the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cloves and nutmeg with 3 tablespoons of cold water and put to one side.

Heat the oil in your deep casserole pot over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the pan becomes quite dry and the ingredients are just starting to turn a little golden. Add the water and spice mix, cinnamon stick and star anise. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the coconut milk, diced potato and chickpeas, including the liquid from the tins. Bash the lemongrass stalks with the back of a wooden spoon to bruise them a little and bend them a few times. Add these to the pan, along with 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of sugar. Bring everything to the boil and then lower the heat. Simmer for 15-20 mins over a moderate heat until the potato is cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Once the potatoes are cooked, taste for seasoning; – you may need to add some more salt depending on how salty your tins of chickpeas were.

Just before serving, stir through the tomatoes to simply warm them slightly; you don’t want to cook them. Serve the curry in bowls with some plain rice and sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.

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